For lots of people, one of the very few upsides to lockdown has been a rediscovery of free time. While it’s critical for everyone to be conscious of the reality of a global pandemic, there’s no shame in leaning into the handful of unexpected benefits that we’re currently experiencing.
As indoor and often solitary creators, new and aspiring podcasters are living in a dystopic but ideal time for their pursuits. It’s also the perfect time to take a podcast course online. Whether you’d like to learn how to launch, record, or grow a podcast — there are a ton of free podcasting resources out there.
Online learning is an excellent use of your forced free time at home, so we’ve found some of the best comprehensive and free podcast courses for beginners. We’ll also tell you about some additional resources for more experienced or ambitious podcasters.
What Does Every Good Podcast Course Need?
Because of the abundance of resources that live on the internet, anyone can make a podcast. That’s one of the things that we love about the podcasting world and its innate philosophy — it’s often about determination and grit.
But unfortunately, that also means that anyone who is determined enough — can also make a podcast course. There are tons of aspiring creators out there, and while that’s great (we respect the hustle), when it comes to your valuable free time, you should always focus on investing it in the best educational resources available.
Just because you have more time now, that doesn’t mean you should squander it on an amateur course — especially because you don’t have to. There are lots of really great courses about podcasting at your disposal, and many of them are free!
For transparency’s sake, you should know that when assessing online podcasting courses we focused on the following criteria to determine their value.
- Organization: The progression and layout of the course should be straightforward, practical, and easy to follow. If you get confused just looking at the course structure, then it’s not a good course.
- Quality materials: Any good podcast training course should take a multimedia approach to materials and resources. There should be a mix of written content, instructional videos, hands-on activities, and step-by-step guides for the trickier tech bits of podcasting.
- Current knowledge: The expertise provided by the instructor should be as recent as possible. Trends, tools, and technology change rapidly in podcasting, so there’s no use in completing a course that was created two years ago.
- An experienced teacher: We checked out the instructor’s social media presence, professional history, and projects to ensure that they are already an established and respected podcaster and/or podcast educator. We’ve found courses by some of the most well-known and respected veterans of the industry.
So after considering all these factors, here’s what we found.
5 Best Free Podcast Courses Online
We’d like to emphasize that these courses all take a more comprehensive and holistic approach to podcasting, and they are primarily for beginners. They offer a starting point, but most of them will also guide you to additional educational tools and podcasting resources.
And while they’re designed for beginners, you’ll definitely be learning a lot of really essential stuff. They’ll teach you practical skills and are bound to boost your confidence — making you feel like an expert as you embark on your podcasting journey.
All of these courses are also self-paced, so you can complete them on a timeline that works for you. So you might as well try one out. What have you got to lose?
Buzzsprout is one of the most popular podcast hosting sites, so it’s no surprise that it’s robust and comprehensive course doesn’t disappoint.
Travis Albritton, Buzzsprout’s own Head of Content, teaches the course. And he also hosts three podcasts — Podcasting Q&A, Buzzcast, and How to Start a Podcast. So he couldn’t be more qualified and on-brand for podcast education.
We’re not exaggerating when we say that this course covers pretty much everything. It has 8 modules — including information about concept planning, naming, equipment, recording, and finally — launch. It also comes with loads of bonus material related to distribution and marketing.
It’s also totally free, all you have to do is enroll.
This is another fantastic and free podcasting course. Though you may not know him, Pat Flynn is a former architect and (UC Berkeley alum!), turned entrepreneur in 2008. Since then he’s been helping people grow their businesses and lead happier, more successful lives.
His free course is extremely thorough, but it will require a bit of scrolling. It outlines the pillars of how to plan a podcast, market it, and launch it. But it also focuses a little more on mindset and monetizing your podcast. So it’s a great option for anyone with lofty podcasting goals.
And for a limited time (in response to COVID-19), he’s also offering a free business course called “Smart from Scratch” that you might want to check out too.
Getting Your Podcast Off the Ground! By Neil Patel (with Skillshare)
Another great way to access free courses online is by taking advantage of free trial memberships. Skillshare, an online learning community — offers two months free, which should be more than enough time to complete this class.
If you haven’t heard of him already, it wouldn’t have been long before you got wind of this course’s instructor, Neil Patel. He’s the founder of NP Digital, and a New York Times Bestselling author, and he has worked with some very big brands.
His course consists of a whopping 39 lessons, so it’s sure to give you a strong foundation for planning, recording, and launching a podcast. And it will also provide valuable knowledge in marketing techniques and audience growth.
How to Make a Podcast: Plan, Record, and Launch with Success with John Lagomarsino (with Skillshare)
Taught by an experienced podcaster, this course is another Skillshare selection. Just from the name, you can tell that this course covers it all.
John Lagomarsino is the Head of Production at Anchor — another podcast hosting site, so he has extensive experience in audio and video production.
It has 12 lessons including instructional videos, downloadable resources, and a class project. And one of the great things about this format is the community that comes with it. You can join discussions and engage with others who are also taking the course.
A course created by Podcast Insights Founder, Ross Winn. He also hosts Podcasting Simplified, a show about podcasting and marketing, so he knows his stuff.
This course is in-depth and totally free. It guides you through every step of the process. You’ll learn how to launch, grow, and monetize your podcast. It even offers particular and personal advice like the pros and cons of working with the co-host or not.
The course focuses on the importance of a podcast website and offers some valuable experience there. It will require some scrolling, but it’s worth it.
If you go with one of these free podcast courses, it’s sure to exceed your expectations. You get insider knowledge, practical advice at every step, and even perks like personal stories and recommendations for podcast equipment packages.
Paid Podcast Courses and Additional Online Learning Services
So, if you’ve already decided that you’d love to do one of the above courses, that’s great!
But there are some more podcasting resources we’d like to share so you can keep on learning. We proudly identify as #studentsalways, and we hope you do too!
While we primarily talked about Skillshare here — other notable online learning services worth (for pay) are LinkedInLearning, CreativeLive, and Udemy. Udemy podcast courses are particularly popular, especially because some of them offer podcasting certificates at an affordable price.
So you might want to check them out if you’re looking for a masterclass or if you’re hoping to learn more about a specific niche of podcasting. The possibilities are endless.
Why You Should Take A Podcast Course During Lockdown
We hope that we helped you narrow it down a bit, especially if you’re new to podcasting and online learning. Due to the circumstances, this is a surreal but perhaps ideal time to get going on your podcast.
And while we know that lots of people aren’t fortunate enough to have the extra time (always thankful to essential workers), we hope you can take advantage of your newfound free time at home during the lockdown.
These are some of the best podcast courses — so they will certainly give you a leg-up on your journey, laying the groundwork for the success of your future podcast. Choose one, and take it seriously. If you do, we have no doubt that you’ll launch a quality podcast in no time.
So let us know if you plan to take one of these podcasting courses, and circle back to tell us how it went! Or if there’s a course you loved but we didn’t mention — tell us about that too. And most importantly, share this article with any of your aspiring podcaster friends and colleagues! They’re sure to appreciate the tip, because who doesn’t love free education?